César, a French painter and member of the Nouveau Réalisme movement, is best known for his use of compressed cars and recycled metals. Although his work shows similarities with artists like Andy Warhol in his appropriation of commercial products,
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César is more interested in the formal traditions of modern sculpture, such as through the work of Alberto Giacometti. Born César Baldaccini on January 11, 1921 in Marseille to Italian parents, he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from which he graduated in 1948. "Despite my classical academic education, my vision with my work on scrap metal," he says. "I entered the industrial world and learned to approach the recovered materials according to their own language". The artist is at the origin of the creation of the bronze trophies given every year during the César ceremony. He represented France at the Venice Biennale in 1995 and today his works can be found in the collections of major institutions around the world such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Gallery in London and MoMA in New York. César died on December 6, 1998 in Paris.